Taro root fries – Fresh, crispy and irresistible addition to any meal plus, it’s super easy to make.
Cocoyam Fries Recipe – Inspired by my Childhood
I have always loved taro; I grew up eating it, though we call it cocoyam back home. We usually add salt and fry them up until they become crispy.
One of the many beauty’s of fries is that they can be spiced up and adapted to fit any meal. And if you are familiar with my recipes, you know how much I love to incorporate flavors and ingredients from my African descent as often as I can in my cooking, and these delicious taro root fries serve the purpose beautifully.
What is Taro root?
Taro root, also known as Cocoyam is an ancient root vegetable originating in South East Asia. It’s now native to many tropical and subtropical areas but is readily available worldwide.
With its dark skin and creamy interior it appears not unlike a potato, but is more starchy and sweeter in flavour.
Why use taro root instead of potatoes?
Taro root is dense in texture which makes it perfect for intense cooking heat such as frying. It absorbs flavors like a sponge, so is wonderful for mashing too.
The sweetness it brings is more exciting on the palate, especially when paired with savory and spicy flavors. It is also significantly higher in fiber and nutrients than potatoes.
It has many health benefits, such as regulating blood pressure, boosting immunity, and improving heart health. The humble, regular potato fry, of course, has its own much-loved place. But all in all, these taro root fries make a healthier, livelier, and more sophisticated addition to the table.
Other alternatives to potato fries you might enjoy:
- Oven-baked Yuca fries
- Crispy seasoned Plantain fries
- Fried Plantains
- Fried Puna Yam
- Quick and easy oven-roasted sweet potatoes
How to make taro root fries
These fries couldn’t be simpler to prepare.
- Peel: The most laborious part, if you can even call it that, is peeling the taro root. Don’t skip this part, though, as the skin is a little tough and unpleasant to eat.
- Cut and season: Next, cut the taro into chunky fries and add the seasonings for extra character.
- Cook: To cook the taro root fries, you can either deep fry or oven bake at a high temperature.
The frying method is of course faster, but both result in an equally satisfying, crispy treat. In either case, there is no need to parboil the taro first as it becomes soft and tender anyway. But for that extra crunchy exterior that is so gratifying, I recommend rinsing and drying well with a paper towel before frying.
What can I serve with taro root fries?
Let’s be honest, fries are the perfect accompaniment to any feast. Crispy and salty on the outside, hot and fluffy in the middle. They are intensely satisfying and have both big and little hands always reaching for more.
Not surprising then that they are one of the most popular foods here in the states, served with everything from burgers, to barbecue to pizzas.
These fries provide a delicious blanket of starchy carbs that complement pretty much anything. You can serve them on a fun family weekend night alongside my homemade pizza, or game night, with my crispy fried chicken drumsticks, meat buns, and some corn cobs.
The options are endless, but here are a few other favorites we love to eat them with:
- Peri-peri chicken
- Crispy oven-roasted turkey wings
- Chicken Yassa
- Perfect juicy baked chicken breasts
- Jamaican jerk chicken wing
- 2 lbs taro root
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 Tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper taste
- Enough oil for deep frying or 3 tbsp olive oil if baking
- Peel the taro root and cut it into fries. The taro pieces should all be similar in size.
- Rinse, drain and pat dry with a paper towel
- Season with paprika, salt, and pepper
- Pour 3 inches of oil into a large, deep pan. Heat the oil to 400F.
- Gently lower the taro inside the oil. Cook till golden and crispy for about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway between.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a large bowl, toss the fries with the oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the seasoned taro on the baking sheet in a single layer. Place inside the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until fries begin to brown slightly on the edges – flip them over halfway through the baking process so that all sides will have a chance to brown and crisp.
If you make this recipe I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen